Ideas for Photography Projects in 2013
1. Double exposures
We’re not quite sure why, but double exposures seem to be having a moment right now. This old film technique can now be recreated with several digital cameras, and, unlike with film, you’ve got much more chance of getting it right first time. Look for unusual shapes, patterns and colours as these tend to make the best double exposure shots. If your camera doesn’t offer the ability to shoot double exposures, you can recreate the look in Photoshop.
2. Infrared photography
Have you got an old camera lying around that you didn’t get round to selling but is just sitting on a shelf? Infrared photography is the perfect excuse to give it some life back. Alternatively, you could look out for a cheap second hand camera to convert.
3. Underwater photography
This could be the year that you get serious about doing something a little bit out of the ordinary, and what’s more different than shooting on land? Shooting underwater of course.
Whether you choose to opt for a cheap(ish) “rugged compact” and just have fun, or whether you splash out (get it) on more expensive underwater housing for your camera, you could make a project out of visiting different beaches of the country or even world.
4. Collect images from a montage
Think of a theme – any theme you like – and collect those images throughout the year to build up a huge montage at the end of the year.
Having one thing that you’re looking out for really helps you to focus on your surroundings and you’ll soon find yourself spotting things you didn’t realise were there.
5. Shoot from the hip
One of the best ways to get unpredictably cool results is to shoot from the hip. With little control over composition, you’re capturing the world around you as it happens without worrying too much about it.
Set your camera to a narrow aperture, such as f/8 to help keep everything in focus and then just shoot. Set yourself a given route, such as a busy high street, to capture.
6. Your town
You probably walk past all kinds of great photography subjects every day in your home town, but you never really think twice about it. Next time you’re stuck for inspiration head out with the mission to shoot in one specific style, or perhaps choose a new mode on your digital camera (such as black and white) and see what you can find. You could even restrict yourself to your street.
7. One lens
We’re not necessarily advocating you pick one lens and shoot with it all year, but, having that kind of restriction certainly makes you think. A common one to go for is a 50mm lens since it’s a classic focal length and are pretty cheap to pick up, but you could go for something a little more unusual, such as a tilt-shift or a fisheye lens. Perhaps pick a day a month when you only shoot with one lens.
8. A day in the life
A sort of mini-project if done in isolation, a day in the life is a good way to get a collection of images which will work well together. You could choose to perch yourself somewhere with lots of people passing by, such as a shop (make sure you get permission if you want to do this), or you could look for somewhere with dramatically changing scenery thanks to the weather.
9. Time lapse
Similar in some ways to a day in the life project, time-lapse photography allows you to speed up something which could take a long amount of time (such as a day, week or even month) into a quick movie. You could choose a busy crowd scene, or if you want to stay indoors (and not watch your camera), perhaps a flower bud opening. Time lapse photography is a great project if you have a spare camera you don’t need access to every day as well.
10. Motion blur
If you’ve exhausted all your local landscapes, why not give motion blur a go. This creative technique provides some beautifully abstract images are all about colour, shape, textures and lighting. Take a look at the website of the brilliant Leeming & Paterson for inspiration.
11. Self portraits
One thing’s for sure if you choose yourself as a subject – you’ll never struggle to find a participant. Self-portraits can be a little awkward at first, but they’re a great way to learn about composition, lighting and what works best. There’s lots of inspiration out there, but a special hat tip goes to Dominick Reed’s Mr Flibble project, which he has now turned into a book.
12. Light painting – in a different way
Although painting with light is a pretty cool project to have a go at, it’s not exactly new. Instead, why not have a go at using a handheld flash for light painting to create unusual night-time landscape images. This simple technique can produce some dramatic results, and putting them altogether can create a stunning set.
13. Get creative with Photoshop
Perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon, why not make 2013 the year you really get to grips with the more creative side of Photoshop? Over the course of a year you can easily teach yourself all the basics along with much more advanced techniques. Head over to our Practical Photoshop website to get started with some inspiration.
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